December 6, 2016 | by Wayne Smith

G - The Future of Our Cellular Nation

In the newest edition release of Cellular Nation: Smartphones, the Internet of Things, and You, author Nick Vulich explores the shifting of our culture of internet on-the-go by diving into AR, VR, device innovations, IoT, apps, security and other topics either created or impacted by this evolution with subject matter expertise from Vertex Innovations team members. Below is an excerpt from the chapter "5G –The Future of Cellular" featuring our own Gray Hancock.

There’s a lot of talk about 5G, and how it’s going to transform our mobile experiences. Many magazines, white papers, and news reporters have hailed 5G as the second coming, or as the beginning of a new age in cellular technology.

It may well be.

But, people need to understand- 5G is currently just a jumble of words. AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile all have a different vision for what they expect the service to be. Some experts insist 5G is nothing more than a label for advanced 4G, or LTE-A.

PC Magazine suggests the first use for 5G will be in home networking. They say AT&T Is talking about using “5G to replace its old DSL offerings, letting the company deliver a ‘quad play’ of Direct TV service, 5G home internet, wireless phone, and home phone.” Verizonhas something similar in mind. Their first deployment of 5G is expected to involve home internet services.

“5G is the next major phase of wireless mobile technology,: say Gray Hancock of Vertex Innovations. “We are currently in 4G / LTE and have been for only a few years. 5G will let us use a platform that will manage internet, security, smart applicances and TV, replacing antiquated landline services such as DSL. Wireless service carriers will most likely use small cells that exist on towers and advanced antenna technologies to boost the signals."

That still leaves the big question: What is 5G? The biggest thing you need to know about 5G is that it doesn’t exist– Not yet, anyway. Everyone is working to define it. But right now, it’s just an amalgamation of ideas fluttering around in people’s heads.

5G is about small, compact technology5G will most likely be an extension of 4G LTE technology. They will work together, side by side, providing a faster, more robust cellular network.5G is all about the Internet of Things (IoT). For smartphone users, it’s all about faster speeds, and higher quality streaming videos. But, that same speed is just as important to the IoT– where machines need data ASAP– to function properly.5G is crucial to the development of self-driving cars. They “require the 1 millisecond delay time provided in the 5G specification.”

Even when 5G is implemented, 4G LTE will continue to carry most of the network traffic– especially out in the open, and in rural areas where the small cell technology required to power 5G won’t exist.

One of the most asked questions is, when will we see 5G technology? GSMA Intelligence published the best response to that. “When 5G arrives will be determined by what 5G turns out to be.” They say, “LTE is still in the early stage of its lifecycle." Historically cellular technologies have a twenty-year lifespan. LTE got its start in 2009. If they’re right, theat means LTE will likely play a major role in cellular technology until at least 2030. The key takeaway is: 4G LTE won’t remain statis. It will evolve as needed to complement and enhance the 5G network.

“5G will be a service above 4G at some point in time, However, at this time it is simply a technology waiting for network infrastructure to support it,” says Hancock. “Standards must be developed and agreed upon for interconnectivity with all wireless carriers. As far as testing, this is happening in test beds all over the world. There are 21 sites where companies and perceived partners are testing the technology and commitment to the perceived benefits.”


5G is one answer– but it’s not the final solution. It’s one piece of the puzzle.

To keep reading the newest edition of Cellular Nation by Nick Vulich featuring contributors from Vertex Innovations, T-Mobile, Zco, SnapMobile, the Counterterrorism Institute and more, purchase it hereon Amazon.